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To Root Out Corruption, Boot Out Big Government

In several countries I visited in the past year, major scandals centered on corruption charges against prominent politicians and businessmen. Everywhere, I was told that their business leaders were uniquely venal and their political system especially vulnerable to corruption. But corruption is common whenever big government infiltrates all facets of economic life, never mind the political and business systems.

In modern economies, profits often are determined more by government subsidies, taxes, and regulations than by traditional management or entrepreneurial skills. Huge profits ride on whether companies win government contracts, get higher tariffs and quotas, receive subsidies, have competition suppressed, or manage to have costly regulations eased.